Sew Bouje

Dreaming up a fabulous wardrobe one pattern at a time

New year, new rules! February 5, 2013

Filed under: General,My Version — sewbouje @ 2:55 pm

Class is finally over. Newly free, single & disengaged. Twenty pounds lighter. The no. 1 resolution for the new year is to never leave home looking anything less than traffic-stopping! Great inspiration for doing a toally new wardrobe, right?

So many ideas are abounding, and I have great plans for my blog & sewing projects this year, which I’ve determined will be very girlie in as many ways as possible. I’m excited because I’ve never been inclined to be particularly girlie before.

At the moment I’m craving a lemony yellow blazer which I want to pair with a full skit in black & white. Can you see it?

yellow blazer

Stayed Tuned for my version…..


My style rocked 7 votes!!!! July 2, 2012

Filed under: Competitions/Participation,General — sewbouje @ 8:37 am


I vas VERY nervous about putting up that design on but if positions were up for grabs, then out of 10 entries I placed 5th! Congrats to Turbo with her entry Delicate Tulle. I’m looking forward to that pattern when it comes out.

I’m also thinking that I’d like to see my design in living colour so I’m going to flex my patternmaking skills…a real challenge, I assure you…. and try to make that design a reality.

As for the new wardrobe, don’t think I haven’t been doing anything. I’m actually almost finished. Summer schoool is on in full swing….2 moreweeks to go, thank goodness…so soon I’ll be able to update and post more regularly. Stay tuned!



Filed under: General — sewbouje @ 12:16 pm

Its funny how things never go exactly how you anticipate, but when you start to get the results you want, its always a pleasant surprise that it all actually worked out.

Take this blog for instance. I’ve had such a stuttered start. This thing has been on my mind to get off the ground for about 2 years now, but somehow the nerves always got the best of me. Finally I decided a few months ago that if I didn’t just jump in feet first, I’d never get anywhere.

After I did my first post, all sorts of ideas for things I wanted to do started popping into my head, and I draft some of what I want to say and saved for later use. Honestly, my biggest fear has been what if I can’t find anything/enough to talk about. And, does anybody really want to read it? Scary.

My other thought was about how to get people reading, but that was secondary, because I just wanted to get comfortable posting when I knew nobody was reading. Strange logic, right?

Yesterday, I solved part of this problem, but not in the way I expected to.

I joined the Burdastyle community back in 2010 and I joined YourStyleRocks last year. And, I’ve been lurking on both, as well as many other sewing blogs ever since. Well, since I’m on the whole blogging bravery thing, I decided to upload an entry to YourStyleRocks for their latest competition – Sensational Decorations.

As it turns out, this is all actually linked to the very first project (1 of 2) that I posted on Burdastyle….which I never blogged about…..until now.

It all started with the Rodarte for Target Dress in 2010. My friend Trudi was going to a wedding and she had fallen in love with this thing. Being crafty as we are – and seeing that it was impractical to order and have it shipped to Barbados – we decided that we would make this thing ourselves. So, Trudi went off to Abed’s (fabric store) to get some tulle and satin and I made this thing up with a few changes.

I posted about it on Burdastyle and got some really kind comments, too!

Since that time, this dress has been on my mind, and apparently many others’ too. It was so popular that it was offered again last year on Target’s website, and sold out just as quickly!

Well, no self-respecting sewist will take a thing and reproduce as is No. I wanted my version to be inspired by that original dress. So off I went to same-said Abeds and bought my fabric in shades of rust (kinda) & coral. The only hitch was that I couldn’t get matching lace or, more importantly, I couldn’t decide on what my version should look like.

To cut this long story short, I’m proud to say that there is progress. My entry for YourStyleRocks is not only my design solution to this dress problem, but it has given me good fodder for this post, AND a good excuse to sound my voice on Burdastlye by asking for everyone’s support in the forums.

Hopefully, I will get a few good votes for my design AND some much-needed & appreciated support for my blogging explorations here.  See, many birds killed with one stone…post…keystroke…whatever.

So, back to my opening lines….its interesting how a thing comes together in the most unexpected way.

I would be happy if you’d leave me a comment or two, add me to your blogroll or follow me. I’m still taking baby-steps with all of this, so bear with me, but I hope I can share many more projects with you all.


A Word on Fashion June 7, 2012

Filed under: General,Pattern Love — sewbouje @ 10:39 am

I love fashion. Not in that totally-obsessed-Oh my God, I’m gonna die because I can’t name drop that I’m wearing the latest designer duds-or, Look at me! I’m so snobby-bougie-stuck-up & I should be the centre of attention with my sheer fabulousness! – kinda way.

No. I love when things resonate in such a profound way that my heart skips a beat, everything starts to go in slow motion and my every waking thought for the next few days is how in the world can I recreate that. Gosh, just how DID they make that???!!!!! This, I think, makes me totally random in my appreciation of designers. I don’t really care what they’ve done whenever. I just go with what I like. Maybe that’s a tad irreverent!

So, I was casually scrolling through the US Magazine website and looking at what the stars wore to the Cannes Film Festival 2012 when I saw Cheryl Cole in Stéphane Rolland. Now this French designer never really popped up in my radar, but I was arrested enough by the dress to go check out the designer’s website.

And. OH MY GOODNESS! It was TOTAL Spring/Summer 2012 Haute Couture LOVE!!!!!!! Here are a few of my favorites from the look book.

And, to add icing on the cake, it seems that I’ve already, unwittingly, been appreciating his work.

Rihanna in a 2009 design when she attended the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Awards.

Cheryl Cole singing with Will-I-Am on her show Cheryl Cole’s Night In back in 2010.

Beyonce at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

All I have to say is that I can see myself creating an inspired-by outfit by sometime soon. This was just what the doctor ordered. I was feeling so blue about being under the weather for the last week  or more, I just couldn’t get a move on with my first wardrobe remake creations. But now, I’m off with renewed inspiration and maybe you should go check out a hot designer today, too!


And We’re Off May 21, 2012

Filed under: General,Pattern Love — sewbouje @ 8:45 am

Going through my pattern stash to decide on what I should include in my new wardrobe is stirring up so much excitement, and its also taking me way back to the things I’ve wanted over the years, but for whatever reason never got around to.
What I really want it to be is a reflection of the girl I used to be, the girl I wish I was in a perfect world, and the woman I am now. And, I want to be able to reinvent myself any time depending on what my moods – which, I assure you, change frequently – are.
So to my choices thus far:

The Burda Style Tunic Dress Redux
This is attempt no. 2 at this dress. This time around I’m using a fun navy print with clouds and a tropical seaside border. My plan is to use version D of this dress, but with only one front pocket and a more functional side inset pocket, and no neck trim.

Another Burda Style Tunic Dress

Actually, I’ll be lengthening Blouse No 115 in the May 2009 Burda Style Magazine into a dress.

I had planned to wear this fun, flowery print to last year’s Christmas family lunch, but everyone ended up doing their own thing and I spent a quiet day at home.

I want Scolloped Shorts just like the ones in my old Lucky Magazines. I’m using the Burda Style Easy Summer Special shorts in a light, beige linen lined with cotton.

I want to let out my inner gypsy with a Swingy Versatile Skirt that can go with anything from a little camisole to a nice cotton blouse and a light jacket. So this one from журнал МОД 522 ( I know, the magazine pic is fugly!) will be transformed into cool, modern grey stretch jersey.

My 5th choice is a nod to my mother. I remember her wearing these simple boatneck dresses twenty-something years ago when I was growing up. So when I recently saw Dr. Helen Magnus rock an updated version in the Sanctuary Season 4 finale, I knew I had to have one. Mine will be self drafted and made up in cool stripes. So this is my inspiration.

Now that’s enough sewing to keep me busy for a while.

NB: My thanks to the Curious Kiwi for her helpful tutorial on using Photoshop and Gimp to visualize the pattern in the fabric. Now let’s just hope my projects come out the way I envision.


The Great Wardrobe Makeover May 14, 2012

Filed under: General — sewbouje @ 8:04 am

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about a new wardrobe because, frankly, I’ve spent more time over the years admiring trends than trying them. So, I’ve decided to MAKE-over my closet…..literally. The problem is that I have so many projects I want to do, its been more than difficult trying to plan coordinated pieces. My solution to that? I’m just going to go wild and do whatever I want … because that’s a luxury I can afford when I’m sewing! And maybe I can finally put a dent in my truly ridiculous stash.


By decree of both my doctor and my fiancé of 3 months, I’m currently doing a weight-loss program, so I’m also using this project as a motivator for those times when the cheesecake looks too tempting!


So far I’m feeling a slightly retro vibe, so little tunic dresses are really appealing to me. This year I’ve also been looking a lot at bright, cheerful colours (no real surprise there…I’m from the Caribbean), especially orange-y tones, and I’ve been dabbling with underwear and handbags.


Also blouses. Suddenly I want all kinds of floaty blouses to dress up, down and sideways.


And dresses … because I’ve been in such a girly mood lately.


And jumpers…. both long and short…..are you beginning to see my problem?


The one thing I’ve decided for sure is that whatever I make must be versatile enough that they’re not too of-the-moment, but I can still look fashionable. I like clothing that can last a long while. My design choices will be a mixture of the commercial patterns I have, free stuff I downloaded and self-drafted things based on styles I’ve see out there.


I’ll upload my first projects later in the week. For now, its back to sewing for other folk. I’ve got some school uniforms I have to get finished.


UPDATE May 11, 2012

Filed under: General — sewbouje @ 11:27 am

I’ve been so busy with my Property Management class – 3 weeknights for 3 hours each – that I had to literally put everything else on the back-burner. This course has ended up feeling like I’m working and studying full-time. Thankfully, its winding down to summer and I’m now about half-way through the program so I feel like I’m now coming up for air.

There’s been little sewing up until last monthly when suddenly I was inundated with requests for work, so now I finally have a chance to update ……

The Burda Style Tunic Dress did not turn out well. It just ended up looking like an old-fashioned house dress, even after my idea for the grey piping did not work and I settled on store-bought white. So its back to the drawing board. I’m trying to decide on a new fabric choice.

The Kinda Fall Palette Challenge fell right through! I was so exhausted most days that all I did was fall into bed. I got as far as choosing about 6 patterns and that was it….so much for my plans for the Perfect Christmas LBD.

Needless to say, my plan for this fabulous blog has had a less than auspicious start. However, oh the upside, all these requests for work has rekindled my fire. I’m inspired again to work on turning my passion into a sideline business.